Three days off?  Scientists say: do it!

Three days off? Scientists say: do it!

Last week we had an extra day thanks to Easter. And now the researchers argue that the three-day weekend should not be an exception to the rule.

The four-day work week is on the rise. More and more employees indicate that they want to work less. This is not a bad idea. Not so long ago, a study showed that a four-day work week is a huge success, as people experience less fatigue complaints and get sick more often, while also improving mental and physical health (see box). A new research group now fully agrees with the idea of ​​extending the weekend by one day. due out their studies It turns out that this extra free time is really very useful to us.

Four working days a week
The results of the world’s largest experiment with a four-day work week speak for themselves. More than 70 percent of employees reported fewer complaints of burnout, and 40 percent said they were less stressed than before the survey began. Absenteeism decreased by 65 percent and turnover decreased by 57 percent. More than 60 percent indicated that it is easier to find a balance between work and private life. Their mental and physical health also improved. Meanwhile, the turnover of companies remained almost unchanged. There was even a slight increase of 1.4 per cent. Therefore, the vast majority of respondents said they intended to continue with the four-day work week. Eighteen companies reported that the shorter work week was introduced permanently.

In the new study, more than 300 adults (average age 40) were watched closely during the 13-month study period. During this period, the participants generally took two to three vacations for about twelve days. Because the test subjects wore fitness trackers, the researchers were able to track exactly how much the participants moved before, during, and after the holiday.

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The results show that the participants led healthier lives during their vacations. For example, vacationers were more vigorously physically active for five minutes each day. They also sit 29 minutes less a day and sleep an extra 21 minutes a day.

Get enough sleep
The fact that participants spent more time on one ear during their days off is very positive. For example, many people sleep poorly structurally. And although many people underestimate the importance of sleep, it is extremely important for our health. When you sleep enough, for example, your mood improves, your cognitive function improves, and you become more productive. In addition, it reduces the risk of a host of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression.

The added value of a good night’s sleep
Sleep is very important for many physical and cognitive functions. For example, cardiovascular health, the immune system, metabolism, memory, and emotion regulation are affected by sleep. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or cancer is also linked to sleep quality. For better health and good emotional well-being, people should consistently get enough sleep. This means 7 hours of sleep each night for most healthy people.

In short, the findings suggest that people lead more active, healthier lives during their holidays — even when they only have three days in a row. “When people don’t have to work for a while, their daily responsibilities change,” said researcher Ty Ferguson. This is because they are not tied into their regular schedule. In this study, we found that their movement patterns change for the better during the holidays, as they move more and sit less across the board. Interestingly, the magnitude of these changes increases the longer the vacation lasts. So the longer the vacation lasts, the greater the health benefits. “.

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Shorter work week
According to researcher Carol Maher, the findings support the importance of the four-day workweek. “Shorter work weeks are already being tested by companies around the world,” she says. “It’s actually not surprising that employees experience less stress, burnout, and burnout as a result. It improves their mental health and ensures a better work-life balance. And now our new study provides empirical evidence that people maintain healthy lifestyles when they have a three-day weekend.” days. The marked increase in the amount of exercise and sleep is expected to have a positive effect on their mental and physical health. This adds to the benefits already observed with a four-day work week.”

So Maher would like to see a three-day weekend as the norm. Because it can benefit our sleep in general. “Our research shows that people sleep better even two weeks after a short vacation,” she says. “This shows that the health benefits of a three-day weekend may have lasting effects.”

Overall, the results suggest that a shorter work week isn’t a bad idea at all. And not only is an extra day fun, but it apparently improves us both physically and mentally. “As the world adjusts to a new normal, it may be time to embrace longer weekends as a way to improve our physical and mental health,” Maher concludes.

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